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The "cultural DNA" of world-renowned designers

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Abstract

The paper provides an insight into the minds of eight of the world's most celebrated designers. The eight designers have been drawn from a number of design centres throughout the world and selected on their current contribution to contemporary design practice and thinking. Using traditional semi-structured interview techniques [1], the paper explores what makes the world's top designers critically and commercially successful? The paper also seeks to identify whether these designers adopt a unique approach to their design work? Moreover, the paper questions whether the designers possess a special something in their genetic make up or DNA, which makes them flourish in the contemporary design world? Utilising the Watson-Crick model of living organisms [2] as a speculative model for each designer's "cultural DNA", the paper illustrates the significant design-related cultural influences which the designers possess and draw on in their work.